Bradman's War: How the 1948 Invincibles Turned the Cricket Pitch Into a Battlefield

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Penguin Group Australia, 2012 - Cricket - 434 pages

Shortlisted for the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Awards

When World War II ended, Bradman assembled an army

Hailed as one of the greatest cricket teams of all time, the 1948 'Invincibles' are the only Australians to complete a tour of England undefeated. Their crushing victories under Bradman's captaincy wrote them into the record books, even if the Don himself, on his final tour, was left forever stranded on a Test batting average of 99.94 after his duck in the fifth Ashes match.

But often forgotten are the mixed feelings about the manner in which these feats were achieved. In his absorbing account of the legendary tour, Malcolm Knox exposes the rift between players who had experienced the horrors of active duty, epitomised by the fiery but sporting RAAF pilot Keith Miller, and those who had not, such as the invalided Bradman. Knox reveals the discomfort among the fans, commentators and players - from both teams - at Bradman's single-minded tactics, on and off the field. Bradman's ruthlessness, even against the war-ravaged veterans of the county clubs, scotched hopes that after the terrible realities of the war, the game might resume in a more friendly spirit than the angry competitiveness of Bodyline.

While Bradman's Warcelebrates the talents of the likes Ray Lindwall, Sid Barnes, Lindsay Hassett, Bill Johnston, Arthur Morris and, of course, their irrepressible captain, it also considers what value we place on entertainment and good-natured rivalry in competitive sport. When it's winner takes all, what's left for those who love the game?

'A book that will have cricket fans talking.' Herald Sun

'The last word on a seminal chapter in Australian sporting history.' Inside Sport

'Succeed s brilliantly, deepening and complicating a cherished Australian myth without dispelling it' Weekend Australian

'Knox has gone behind the headlines to launch a fast-paced and sometimes personal attack on a national hero . . . Bradman's Waris a book that will have cricket fans talking' Herald Sun

'Poised and evocative' The Age

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - drmaf - LibraryThing

I dont generally read many cricket books, although I love the game, because I find much modern cricket writing fairly pedestrian. It often seems to be the product of sports journalists who dont have ... Read full review

Bradman's War

User Review  - Thorpe-Bowker and Contributors - Books+Publishing

I wont deny that I wondered whether it was necessary to publish another book about cricket when Malcolm Knoxs Bradmans War came my way. After all, cricket is one of (if not the) most documented and ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Malcolm Knox is the former literary editor and award-winning cricket writer of the Sydney Morning Herald, where he broke the Norma Khouri story, for which he won one of his two Walkley Awards. His novels include A Private Man, winner of the Ned Kelly Award; The Life; and most recently The Wonder Lover. His many non-fiction titles include The Greatest- The Players, the Moments, the Matches 1993- 2008; The Captains- The Story Behind Australia's Second Most Important Job; Boom- The Underground History of Australia, From Gold Rush to GFC, which won the 2013 Ashurst Business Literature Prize; and Bradman's War, shortlisted in the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Awards.

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